Mountain Biking is by no means a cheap hobby
Although there are countless of places around the UK where we can ride at our leisure for no cost at all, the equipment that we need to engage in this activity safely can be astoundingly pricey. As with all extreme sports activity equipment, skimping on purchases will only end up endangering your own safety and diminishing your overall enjoyment of the activity.
Thankfully there are a wide-range of Brands and Manufacturers that cater to all budgets, so those looking to balance their expenditure on their burgeoning gear habit can still afford to eat as well.
The bike itself, as well as the various customisation options we choose to add to our rides, is the big money item. For those of us with normal sized wallets, the idea of purchasing a new bike, regardless of how technically proficient it is, for anything more than £1000 will seem ludicrous. But nevertheless, it’s always intriguing (and a little maddening) to take a peek at ‘what could be’.
On a recent trip to Liverpool, accompanying a (rather well-to-do) friend to a Porsche specialist (http://www.tech-9.co.uk/) we got talking about high-end car manufacturers stepping into the realm of bikes.
This is not an area of the sport rarely explored by average earners, for one good reason: these bikes are expensive.
Porsche Bike RX
When Porsche (http://shop3.porsche.com/uk/sport/bike/) announced that it was designing it’s own line of bikes for the high-end market, the news didn’t quite make it’s way down to the average consumer. Although you can purchase their standard model for around £2,500 (!), you’ll, obviously, only have eyes for the RX, their purpose built mountain bikes.
At £4,500, the price is enough to bring tears to the eyes but it looks like it would be worth it. Massive 2.5-inch wheels and hydraulic disc brakes are combined with a light weight carbon frame for a total of only 10kg!
BMW Cruise M-Bike
Although envisioned as more of a rugged commuter ride, rather than a full blown mountain bike, the Cruise M-Bike is nonetheless a worthy addition to the tradition of car manufacturers producing superlative bikes. These particular models are considerably cheaper than Porsche’s outfits. Although their electric models can set you back as far as £2,600 – you can buy the standard M-Bike for around £1000 (http://www.bmw.co.uk/en_GB/topics/ownership/accessories/bikes-equipment.html).
Big 28-inch wheels, cutting edge brakes and a 30-gear system make this a smooth ride. It may not be suitable for downhill routes, but when it looks this good, does it really matter?
Audi Cross Pro RS
Perhaps the holy grail of high-end bespoke mountain bikes, Audi (https://microsites.audi.com/e-tron-bike/index_en.html) only produced 150 of these ridiculous machines back in 2011. Designed by the same men behind their awesome sports cars, the 7020 T6 alloy was used to craft the gorgeous lightweight frames. It’s a little difficult to put a price on this particular model, as there aren’t many to be found online – you could say that they’re priceless!
Applying the design lessons that they learnt when designing their award winning rally cars, the RS takes it’s cues from the Quattro, blending non-round tubing design with a truly phenomenal 27-gear system. At 11.9kg, it’s Audi’s lightest model and most exclusive.